Patient Group Terms of Reference




The voice of the patients



The purpose of the Patient Group is to:

  • provide a patient view to The Medical Group,
  • provide a forum to discuss issues relevant to The Medical Group and
  • enable patients to influence local health care services.

How will we do this?  By:

  • acting as a channel of communication from The Medical Group to its patients and wider population, and vice versa. This complements and supports The Medical Group’s website, newsletter, information screens, notice boards and electronic communications.
  • involving patients in the review, development and planning of services by The Medical Group.
  • identifying services and issues on which the Medical Group should consult with patients; consider any comments resulting from this consultation and support the practice in responding to them.
  • supporting the practice in drafting written materials and communications, such as the newsletter and website and offer feedback on literature for patients.


Membership is open to all registered patients of The Medical Group. The Medical Group will, as far as possible, ensure that the membership reflects the population it serves.

Membership includes at least one representative from The Medical Group staff.


The Group will:

  • elect a Chairperson and vice-Chairperson from within the Group. This will be revisited on a bi-annual basis.
  • meet a minimum of 6 times a year. An annual schedule will be published on The Medial Group website. Additional ad hoc meetings and working groups may also meet when required.
  • always use discretion, tact and diplomacy when discussing The Medical Group and this Group’s meetings in public, and generally promote the work of the Medical Group.
  • aid planning when asked and may be consulted on service development and provision.
  • give registered patients a voice in the organisation of their care.
  • provide feedback on patients’ needs, concerns and interests and challenge the Medical Group’s practice constructively whenever necessary.
  • support the Medical Group in the formulation of an annual patient survey, promotion and analysis of results.
  • give input to the Medical Group’s patient communications to ensure clarity, for example, information leaflets, website content etc.
  • support the Medical Group in its dealings with other bodies.
  • be as representative of the patient population as possible.
  • share best practice and good ideas that are picked up from elsewhere which might enhance the wellbeing of patients and staff.
  • act as a conduit for communication between the Medical Group and the local Patient Reference Group through nominated member(s).
  • carry out a ‘self-review’ annually to look at its effectiveness.
  • manage its meetings using an agenda, with minutes and actions recorded, and where needed, who is responsible for each action will also be recorded; and the minutes published on The Medical Group website.
  • invite members in advance to submit items for the agenda (items submitted less than one week before the meeting will be included if time permits).
  • work on the basis of a consensus of opinions. If an issue requires a vote, this will be based on one member one vote. In the event of a ‘tied’ vote, then the Chairperson in consultation with the Practice Manager will determine an appropriate way forward.

Ground Rules - We expect members will:

  • not use the meetings as a forum for individual complaints and single issues. Members who are approached by patients with complaints should encourage the patient to contact the practice directly in order to have their concerns addressed.
  • have open honest communications and courteous exchanges between individuals;
  • be flexible, ask for help and support each other;
  • demonstrate a commitment to delivering results as a group;
  • be willing to contribute, but always go through the Chairperson;
  • listen to all views expressed at the meetings;
  • ensure that there are no phone or other disruptions;
  • start and finish meetings on time. Where the agenda is ‘full’, items will be allocated times, or the Chairperson may use their discretion to defer items to future meetings;
  • stick to the items on the agenda;
  • understand that items raised without notice at a meeting may need to be deferred to allow time for a response to be prepared;
  • sign a confidentiality agreement upon joining the Group;
  • understand that membership of the Group does not confer any priority claims on The Medical Group’s services or any right to preferential treatment; nor does it alter the existing NHS processes for handling individual complaints, a copy of which is available from The Medical Group’s Practice Manager.

Published: 01 October 2019


Please note: We can help you in reading and understanding this document.  Please ask at Reception 

Reception – If help is needed, please ask for contact details (e-mail or ‘phone number) so a member of the Patient Group can get in touch to help directly.